From spinning discs in a local club in Rome to storming Berghain, Italian DJ Adiel talks about her techno music production
Photographer: Costanza Musto
Make up: Giulia Luciani
Lampoon talking to Alessia Di Livio
When eighteen-year-old Alessia Di Livio entered Rome‘s Goa club, something clicked. «The way the club connects people through music, how different cultures are meeting together and living through emotions, were the first aspects that touched me. I started loving music because of this all around. It was essential for my musical education to be raised in a club».
Before Alessia Di Livio became the DJ, Adiel dabbled in many art streams: from painting as a child to frequent dance halls, she searched for inspiration and a home to host her spirit. «When I applied this to electronic music, it was fulfilling. I’m always first ready to dance before being ready to play». As a multidisciplinary artist, she employs skills learned in art practice to DJ and produce. Adapting this philosophy helped her journey from spinning her first discs at Goa to becoming a resident DJ there. «Now that I see it all together, it makes sense», she says.
Adiel’s affection for roman’s underground culture admiration of dub-influenced electro and techno pushed her into an exploration of last decades pioneers like Aphex Twin, Autechre or Burial. «All this together made me discover my sound», she says. In that pot of inspiration, she found the essence of her brand. «My sound can be described as tribal and deep. It’s rhythmic and developing».
Despite establishing her identity as a DJ and producer, she is still looking to add new elements to the vocabulary of her sonic expression. «I’m attracted to tribal and ambiance – more realistic sounds. It’s interesting to approach an instrument like percussion. This is helping me now in the construction of my tracks and my studio path».
Lampoon review: making techno music
With two Eps out, Ritmo, released in 2018, and following it a year later, Musicophilia, based on Oliver Sacks’ same-titled book on physiological ailments and their connections to music, Adiel’s name gained significance on the Italian club scene.
Success in a homeland opened up new possibilities, and curiosity led her out of Goa’s comfort zone and into the world’s nightclubs and festivals. She hypnotized international crowds with trademark, deep sounds from Sonar in Barcelona to her first Boiler Room, London’s Printworks to Berghain. «It’s been like a school; I met different teachers, and they all have been inspiring». Coming back from a course of real-life driven musical education and full of future concepts into the wasteland of 2020, Adiel adjusted her creating system to the changed conditions. «I’ve been giving a different approach to creativity during this last year. It’s been like rediscovering myself in the music I make», she shares.
She applied the new formula to There Is No Way Out, an online local club scene initiative, a track made in isolation. «This was included in a Club Quarantäne compilation: the first virtual rave on the web at the beginning of the pandemic».
Collaboration between various music industry groups launched in March last year grew into a series of virtual events, now managed by a full-time team. Adiel’s contribution reflected society’s mindset then. «There’s No Way Out was a call for help but not finding an answer. It’s reflecting a mood that we were all living in now», she says. In 2021, following up the theme of a chaotic reality, she debuted on Stroboscopic Artefacts label with a four-track EP, If Not Now When?.
Having processed the initial pain of going into lockdown and navigating isolation, Adiel is ready to open up another chapter, with a new EP Method, out in May. «It represents a transition from the old Adiel and the new one. It has four tracks, and two tracks were made in the last year, and the other two are fresh. So that’s why I see it more as something that’s a personal evolution».
For the first time, Adiel levels her workup, incorporating composed and recorded by her live percussion and another, intimate touch «the vocal you hear is my mom’s». For Adiel, human connections make the process of producing music worthwhile. In addition, Method is a chance for the DJ to share her growth with the world. «It’s more mature so let’s see where it’s going. The beauty in making music is that every day you know that you have a lot to learn».
Danza Tribale producing label
Learning is Adiel’s strong suit since she’s managing a solo career in charge of her label. «Danza Tribale represents freedom of expression». Set up in 2016, it became an outlet for Di Livio’s artistic endeavors and a platform to showcase Italian talents deserving of the spotlight like the label’s latest project. «The artists are Tamburi Neri which are a duo from Milan, and their release includes four different tracks and additionally Marcel Dettmann’s interpretations of them», she says. «I’m happy to share them. It’s fulfilling.
being a woman in the music industry
As a woman in the male-dominated music industry, Adiel has first-hand insight into the gender power dynamics and discriminations. Despite witnessing them during her professional career, she was fortunate enough not to live the experience directly.
«I was lucky, and I found different people who trusted me because I was a woman». Confident in her abilities and validated in the scene, she has faith in a better future. «This could be and should be changing in all different aspects. In every job. For every gender. For every culture», she says.
«Finding those people that trusted me because I was a woman was something that gave me a lot of strength and a lot of courage to put myself in the game».
Adiel’s new projects
Today, Adiel is not only playing the game, but she’s thriving in it. As a result, other artists have also noticed it, which resulted in various creative collaborations. An example is a partnership with contemporary techno producer Donato Dozzy within the project Cavallina. «I’ve been traveling and listening to Donato many times over the years. We have a beautiful relationship, and I will always respect him so much. I’m thankful for that».
Di Livio believes that music education is an ongoing process, so she surrounds herself with talented colleagues who share similar attitudes and have the capacity to push the boundaries of contemporary electronic music. «At the moment, I have been working with Tobias. – a master for me. He’s been taking care of my tracks and the sound».
For the past year, Adiel has been busy honing her craft among like-minded individuals who let her feel the sense of belonging to a community in a world that fell apart. «We are at the same stage, at the same point. We have to be together in this and hope that we can go back to better normality», she says. Adiel’s vision of improved reality is a thrilling one. «To play, play and play a lot because I miss playing and I miss dancing. My real intention is to dance the most I can and to play the most I can».
Italian DJ, producer, and owner of Danza Tribale label. Debuting with Anatomia De Cavallo in 2016, she gained the national spotlight and permanent residency at Goa Club. As a prolific artist releasing a record a year, Adiel has established herself as a promising electro/dub techno musician on Rome’s club scene and started to attract international press after playing sets across Europe’s venues like Circoloco, Berghain, Afterlife, and Dekmantel.